She explained that she came up with the idea while taking a child psychology class at school, where she learned about the struggles of children from bi-racial backgrounds.
One Michigan mom came up with a creative and fun way to teach her young daughter about influential Black figures in history. For the past two years, Taylor Trotter and her five-year-old daughter Paisley have celebrated Black History Month with a daily game of dress-up and they're keeping up the tradition this year as well. Every day in February, Trotter dresses her daughter as a different Black historical figure and takes a photograph of the youngster posing akin to their chosen trailblazer of the day. She then posts a side-by-side picture of Paisley and the influential figure on Facebook, explaining the person's contribution to American history in the caption.
Speaking to CNN, Trotter explained that she came up with the idea while taking a child psychology class at school, where she learned about the struggles of children from bi-racial backgrounds. She said that the class helped her realize how challenging it can be for children from multicultural backgrounds to identify with a group and learn who they are. "I knew I had to make a conscientious effort to teach her about the Black side of her and the Black history," Trotter said. "And I want this to help her become confident in loving who she is."
Although the game only lasts through February, Paisley's education on important Black figures isn't limited to just one month. Trotter compiles the pictures and captions from each year into a book which the mother-daughter duo then look through throughout the year. "This teaches her that just because people are different doesn't mean they aren't worthy," Trotter explained. This year, Trotter decided to highlight the lives of Black Americans lost to police brutality and collected photos of 10 people that she wishes to pay tribute to, one of which dates back to the 1970s.
"I'm just trying to bring awareness that this is a systemic problem and people are passing this hatred in their hearts down from generation to generation," she said. She explained that she believes it's important for her to be honest with her daughter about the systemic problems America faces. "Racism doesn't have an age, so kids are never too young to learn about it," Trotter said. "I don't want to send her into the world blindsided to the fact that people may treat her differently just because of the way she looks." Recognizing the differences and similarities between her and her daughter, Trotter says that having a biracial daughter has broadened her point of view.
"These aren't necessarily things that I've had to think about before," Trotter said. "It's helped me as a mom and I feel like I'm doing my part in educating my daughter and creating change." So far, Paisley has dressed up as Serena Williams, Jackie Robinson, Mae Jemison, and several other important figures. The youngster kicked off this year's Black History Month with a tribute to Vice President Kamala Harris and captioning the post on Facebook, Trotter wrote: "Pais, my love, I am in awe watching you watch Kamala become Vice President; the high pitched squeal, the pride, the loads of questions, and your ear to ear smile that someone like you has finally made it!"
"This wasn't just a win for her, but for you too & for so many others. I hope you look to her with inspiration, that you honestly and truly can be who you want to be. Work hard, step on the shoulders of women who have come before you, and rise up above the disbelievers. I'll be right with you, every step of every day, encouraging you, and fighting for you to accomplish everything you dream of," she continued. "You've got what it takes; use your determination, spice, and fierce voice to help others, spread love, and accomplish everything your heart desires. Whatever it is you do, I'll be damn proud to be your mama."